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This hacked Game Boy hides a Raspberry Pi and hundreds of games

This hacked Game Boy hides a Raspberry Pi and hundreds of games

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If you want a handy illustration of how far consumer technology has come in the last 30 years, just take a look at this video from electronics wizard Wermy, who has gutted an original Game Boy and modified it to play hundreds of console games. From the outside, the device looks like one of Nintendo's 27-year-old handhelds, but its gray plastic shell hides a rechargeable lithium ion battery, a Bluetooth receiver, and a Raspberry Pi.

A series of pictures show how the "Game Boy Zero" was put together, complete with new buttons, updated ports, and a new screen — necessary because the original Game Boy could only manage monochrome games. Wermy's version uses a color display that makes it capable of playing more modern games. The tiny Raspberry Pi inside runs Emulation Station, software that lets Wermy play games from not only the Game Boy's back catalog, but from the NES, SNES, and even Sega's Genesis and Master System consoles. Indeed, Wemy says the minuscule machine is powerful enough to run anything up to Game Boy Advance games, a handheld that saw market 12 years after the original Game Boy.


Most impressive, though, is the way games are loaded on the ersatz Game Boy. Wermy has modified one of the console's original cartridges, hollowing out space for a micro-SD card reader, and emblazoned its body with a Raspberry Pi sticker that looks like it dates back to the early '90s. He's also adjusted the Game Boy's cartridge connector accordingly, meaning that it's able to read the files contained on the SD card just as Nintendo's original handheld would boot inserted games. The effect is almost perverse: Nintendo could barely squeeze one game onto a Game Boy cartridge in 1989, but in 2016, Wermy can fit the entire catalog for multiple consoles onto a sliver of silicon smaller than a fingernail.

First look at the Raspberry Pi 3